We are the pariahs of the world â€” Yasser Latif Hamdani Dr Abdus Salam is one of the few heroes this nation can be truly proud of, but instead of recognising his great services to Pakistan and humanity, the nation remained silent As the world inched closer to understanding the mysteries of the universe after the discovery and confirmation of the famed god particle, Higgs Boson, Pakistan should have had a lot to celebrate. A Pakistani physicist, a scientist who remained Pakistani to his dying day, was credited by the world for having played a key role in the discovery. Dr Abdus Salam is one of the few heroes this nation can be truly proud of, but instead of recognising his great services to Pakistan and humanity, the nation remained silent as the minaret of a â€˜place of worshipâ€™ (since calling it a mosque is a crime under the law) was pulled down in Kharian by the proud Islamic police of Punjab. That place of worship belonged to Dr Salamâ€™s community of â€˜forcedâ€™ non-Muslims. The day our Islamic heroes were demolishing the minaret in a house of worship, I happened to come across a bearded gentleman in the Lahore High Court who introduced himself as a luminary of the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat. He boasted, â€œMirzais (Ahmedis) have been reduced to the level of chooras (sweepers) and will soon bite the dust by the grace of God.â€ The irony could not be clearer. While the world celebrates Dr Salam and by association (at the great manâ€™s insistence), Pakistan, these various hate-mongers are busy denouncing and denigrating not one but two peaceful communities who have always contributed to the progress of Pakistan, with the full force and might of the state. No wonder then the entire world now treats us as pariahs at best and lepers at worst. The ideological heirs of the Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam who had called Pakistan â€˜Kafiristanâ€™ (land of infidels) and Jinnah â€˜Kafir-e-Azamâ€™ (the biggest infidel), and the ideological heirs of Maududi, who called Pakistan â€˜Na-Pakistanâ€™ (non-Pakistan), have now brought us to the brink of disaster. We are staring into an abyss and Maududiâ€™s children are driving us there. Like India, we too are world famous for IT, except that in our case IT stands for international terrorism. Is this what we want for ourselves? What revenge the mullahs have taken for their total political annihilation by the Muslim League in pre-partition India! The Munir Report tracks the resurgence of the Majlis-e-Ahrar post-1947 and conclusively shows that the whole anti-Ahmaddiya sentiment was manufactured to weaken the Muslim League government in Karachi. In 1953, there were men of the calibre of Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar and Khawaja Nazimuddin who refused to buckle under mullah pressure. Nishtar especially deserves to be recognised for his ironhanded role against Ahrarâ€™s propaganda against the Ahmadis. Nishtar and Nazimuddin were replaced by the likes of Bhutto and Zia. Now the mullahs have hijacked the country and driven it into the ground. It need not have been like this. Had we heeded Jinnahâ€™s words on August 11, 1947, and had we not created arbitrary bars against various communities and had we treated religion as a matter between man and God, Pakistan may well have excelled and become one of the greatest nations on earth. Fundamentalism in Pakistan was manufactured and imposed on us from the top. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto laid the foundations of Islamisation in Pakistan. General Zia took it to the next level. The current state of affairs vis-Ã -vis religious minorities cannot continue indefinitely. The world is waiting and watching and will pounce on us. The maltreatment â€” and make no mistake, it is maltreatment of the worst kind â€” of religious minorities is a rather large stick to beat us with. Our laws stand in gross violation of almost every article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. As and when our â€˜strategic importanceâ€™ recedes and it would someday, the world will notice this even more. We will lose our access to western markets and our citizens will find themselves unwelcome in most countries of the world. An increasing number of Pakistani expatriates will try and pass themselves off as Indians or Bangladeshis. The disdain with which our Islamic puritans dismiss Christians and Ahmadis will pale in comparison to the outright disgust we will experience every time one of us will hold out a green passport with the words â€˜Islamic Republic of Pakistanâ€™ on it. This would not just be the case in the west but even our Muslim brethren will turn against us. In a surprising poll, a significant number of Turks, who once opened up their hearts and homes to Pakistanis, have an unfavourable view of Pakistan and Pakistanis. Iranians and Afghans already hate us. Saudis are always willing to sell us out as is obvious from their recent actions vis-Ã -vis Abu Jindal. Pakistan is also one of the few Muslim countries whose citizens require visas to go to Malaysia. Nor is China, our all weather friend, willing to put up with our tantrums anymore. As China comes to dominate the world economy, Pakistan will become a liability, a liability that will be discarded with prejudice. So what is the solution? The solution lies in aligning ourselves with the forces of humanity and civilisation. The march of humanity is unstoppable. Eventually, we would have to join it. The question is how much heartbreak we should suffer before we finally see reason. Will we lose our country in the process? We owe it to ourselves to at least try to avert a terrific disaster. As for Dr Salam, he is a hero not just to Pakistan but the entire world. It does not matter if a few narrow-minded mullahs and their court followers deny his achievements. The loss is ours.